Robert Ferguson The Vikings: A History

ISBN 13: 9780670020799

The Vikings: A History

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9780670020799: The Vikings: A History
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A comprehensive and thrilling history of the Vikings for fans of the History Channel series

From Harald Bluetooth to Cnut the Great, the feared seamen and plunderers of the Viking Age ruled Norway, Sweden, and Denmark but roamed as far as Byzantium, Greenland, and America. Raiders and traders, settlers and craftsmen, the medieval Scandinavians who have become familiar to history as Vikings never lose their capacity to fascinate, from their ingeniously designed longboats to their stormy pantheon of Viking gods and goddesses, ruled by Odin in Valhalla. Robert Ferguson is a sure guide across what he calls "the treacherous marches which divide legend from fact in Viking Age history." His long familiarity with the literary culture of Scandinavia with its skaldic poetry is combined with the latest archaeological discoveries to reveal a sweeping picture of the Norsemen, one of history's most amazing civilizations.

Impeccably researched and filled with compelling accounts and analyses of legendary Viking warriors and Norse mythology, The Vikings is an indispensable guide to medieval Scandinavia and is a wonderful companion to the History Channel series.

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About the Author:

Robert Ferguson began his literary career as a radio dramatist, translating and adapting for radio works by Knut Hamsun and Henrik Ibsen for the BBC. His first literary biography was Enigma: The Life of Knut Hamsun, which was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Best Biography Award. As well as literary biographies, Ferguson has written two novels, published in Norwegian.

From Booklist:

Sporting monikers such as Sven Forkbeard and Harald Bluetooth, the Vikings left arresting traces in saga and chronicle, in addition to their signature destruction and massacre. Ferguson synthesizes Viking scholarship for a general audience and follows the Vikings wherever they went. Spreading from Scandinavia, they entered written records as a result of raids on Britain and Ireland in the late 700s; soon the divisive Carolingian empire, and the land that would become Russia, would experience the Viking scourge as well. But along with slaves and booty came the encounter with Christianity, among whose proselytizers numbered the fearless believers who brought the Gospel to worshippers of Odin and Thor. The pagan-Christian interface informs Ferguson’s narrative, and by emphasizing experiences of the conversion process by identifiable individuals within a centuries-long direction of Vikings forsaking their old religion, the author textures the pillage that he asserts is necessary to a complete understanding of the Viking age. Integrating archaeological, genetic, linguistic, and literary information, Ferguson realizes a Viking history bound to satisfy the interested reader. --Gilbert Taylor

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